Wake Up, Woods! Spring Ephemerals Emerge on our Preserves

Ephemerals identified

Spring ephemerals — wildflowers that bloom in early spring for only a short time, provide an important source of food for pollinators, and rely on ants to disperse their seeds — are emerging now on our preserves as life on the forest floor awakens from its winter sleep.

You can learn more about what to look for this time of year in the beautiful book Wake Up, Woods, which showcases the splendor of Indiana’s warming woodlands in springtime.

Wake Up, Woods cover

With verses written by Sycamore’s Environmental Education Director Shane Gibson, vivid illustrations by Gillian Harris of native spring ephemerals and the insects, birds, and mammals that rely on them, and educational text by Michael Homoya, this captivating look into our forests’ biodiversity supported by the Indiana Native Plant Society helps children and adult participants in Sycamore’s Environmental Education programs celebrate some of nature’s most fascinating moments in forests where we live and play and hike.

To request a signed copy of the book from Shane Gibson for $18.95 plus shipping, email us at

“An enchanting peek into the splendor that awaits us outdoors.”
— Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, The Nature Principle, and Vitamin N

“Wake Up, Woods is a much-needed resource for anyone seeking to instill a love for local nature in early learners. Gentle verses and lovely, scientifically accurate illustrations guide children through an introduction to native woodland wildflowers, while additional text provides background for parents and educators.”
— Chicago Academy of Sciences/ Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

“Detailed illustrations, lilting verses, and scientific explanations make Wake Up, Woods an important text for anyone wanting to wake up to the wonder around them when visiting the woods. This is an excellent nature book to share with young readers and is perfect for the classroom or to tuck in a backpack before a hike.”
—Suzanne Walker, Director, Indiana Center for the Book, Indiana State Library